Statement by the Association of Regional Press Publishers "United MassMedia"
Dear partners, colleagues and concerned citizens!
The professional community of Belarusian publishers of the regional press draws your attention to what is happening in our country over the past months - from the beginning of the election campaign for the president of the country until the fourth day after them:
-Throughout the 2020 presidential electoral campaign, the rights of journalists and the media were massively violated. This is a gross breach of freedom of speech, the principles of transparency and openness of the electoral process.
- Since the main voting day on August 9, more than 5,000 people have been detained, threatened and beaten by law enforcement agencies and special service. There was confirmed case of using live ammunition against the civilian population.
We, the publishers of the regional press in Belarus, are concerned not only with the fate of our employees, the rights of journalists and our professional future, but also with the fate of our audiences, the population of the country, which has been living on the brink of civil war for the fourth day. Journalists of the publications we represent defend our constitutional rights, the right of the population to know the truth about what is happening in the country
-We call on the Belarusian authorities to stop violating the rights of journalists and the media, and halt the violence used against journalists, as well as citizens who protest peacefully.
-We urge the global community to react to what is happening in Belarus, to support the Belarusian people in all possible ways.
-We demand the identification and prosecution of those responsible for violations of the rights of journalists and media.
- We demand the release of detained innocent people and stopping the brutal crackdown on those Belarusians who do not believe the election results. We also demand bringing to justice those who allow this to be done, and to recover from them the moral andmaterial damage caused to the people and their property.
-We demand the release of all detained journalists and the prosecution of those who hindered and prevented them from fulfilling in their professional duties.
-We demand ensuring compliance with the rule of law on freedom of access to information and halting the biased coverage of events in the country through the state media, slander, defamation and incitement to national conflict.
A constantly updated list of repressed journalists can be found on the BAJ website at https://baj.by/be/analytics/represii-suprac-zhurnalistau-u-belarusi-u-2020-godze-tablica-
According to the "Belarusian association of journalists" https://baj.by/en dated 08.13.20 11:59
The number of arrests of journalists by day is as follows:
August 9 - 24 arrests
August 10 - 20 arrests
August 11 - 12 arrests
August 12 - 8 arrests
About the Association: The Association of Regional Press Publishers"United
MassMedia" was founded in 2009 and today unites 15 independent media, both online and
printed, from different regions of Belarus. The total circulation of printed versions of
publications who are members of the Association, exceeds 70,000 copies.
The main goal of the Association is to develop an environment favourable to the
effective work of independent media and strengthening the industry as a whole. The
Association promotes communication and exchange of experience between private
publishers, fosters the development of the regional media market.